Some of my "finished" character concepts



I need advice regarding multiple areas of my work.

I’m trying to self-teach concept art for quite a bit now and I seem to find it hard to get to the “final concept illustration” part of the workflow. I try doing a propper line art but then without the sketch underlay it doesn’t hold the form of the original plus it looks like as if I badly traced someone else’s picture (I can hold a line and traditionally i can make almost a perfect circle in one swipe. Might be on my (S) tablet I dont have enough space to use my whole arm, just my wrist). I’d also like to know where do I stand on the line from a noob to a pro (number 1-10) and anything else you tell me I should improve I’d be much greatful for.

For the pieces bellow I just cleaned the sketch and tried to colour it in attepmt of a concept illustration. They don’t really have a story background I could work with or just something simple but as far from the Mr. Concept Art clichés like “someone with a huge axe and super heavy armour and pointy ears” or “someone with a gasmask and a sniper rifle call it an apocalypse” as possible.


It really helps if you come up with some kind of premise for your concept art practice, and treat it like a mock-project. This is because as a concept artist, you have to be able to take whatever premise/ideas given to you and then come up with designs for them, and having a set premise gives you parameters to work with. For example, what is the fictional world in this story like? What level of technology? Who are these characters? What function do they serve in the story? Are they important enough characters to have personalities shown during the story, or just no-name characters the get killed off quickly? Is it a video game, movie, TV series, or something else? In what style and genre? Who’s the target audience?

If you’re trying to do “finished/polished” line art, then there are some important things you need to understand about line quality. For example, variations of line thickness can be used to convey weight, distance, form, lighting, density of detail, etc. For example, use thicker lines at the shadow side of your forms, and thinner lines at the lit side. Use thicker lines for something farther, and thinner lines for closer. Use thicker lines for heavy objects and thin lines for light objects. Use thicker lines for more sparse detail and thinner lines for more dense detail. Use thicker lines for concave part of forms and thinner lines for convex part of forms. These variations will make your line art appear a lot more expressive and convey a lot more information than simply providing outlines for your shapes and forms.

Also try analyzing the works of good comic book artists/inkers and study how they vary their line weight.



But before my post went live after such a long time and before I just looked at it now after 3 days it did, I already figured my ways.

For my personal work I figured long time ago I won’t and maybe can’t come up with a whole story and a whole new world to work with every two days when i want to design something - which of course helps for long term projects or serious IPs and that’s what I’d get in a studio (- but im really not satisfied by overdone vague premises.)

The premise I had with the 1st and 3rd pic was an on earth indoor welding engineer / scientists working in a dirty steamy hot enviroment - that’s what i meant by something simple and not too cliché (In my subconscious mind was also near future and retro vibe)
The 2nd pic is just “Draw something fast that i can test my coloring skills on”

I fixed my line problem by zooming in more so that my hand movement on my S tablet is close to my movement on paper.
I have little to no interest in becomming an illustrator so as long as i can somehow illustrate my final concept and the color doesn’t blend in the mess of lines I’ll be happy. I’ll leave the splash jobs to their rightfull owners x]]
The things about how line works you’re describing is a drawing lesson number 1. My question was why the hell do I rock traditional and suck digital. My fault - i should have been more clear and provide examples.
That I started to go from rough sketch to cleaner and cleaner lines also helped. Just as setting much lower opacity than i used to.

I’m unstuck back on grinding. Right now I’m quite happy in my current state, it’s been a long ride. Things will get better as time goes and the milege will carry me to mastery. Revisiting fundamentals time to time wont hurt also x]
My biggest problem right now is symetry that im slowly dealing with (Look at the knee pad buckles in the pic bellow)

This responce might seem as a little unappreciative but know that I really appreciate what you do for the whole community :]



A great source you can use to do your concepts from, is books. If you read sci-fi/fantasy novels, you have lots of premises you can base your concepts on (assuming you just want to get some practice in doing concept designs). Novels that have never been adapted into movies, TV shows, games, comics, etc. are great because it’s untapped territory without established visual styles/designs (especially if the book cover illustration is kind of vague and doesn’t portray too much).

The cleaner drawing you posted definitely looks a lot better than the rougher ones you posted previously. Her feet are a bit small though–might want to fix that (unless there’s good a reason for it).


That’s a really good tip, thanks. :]
And you’re absolutely right about the feet x]. It happens randomly I do these mistakes at random places that i usually do right. I still need a lot of practice. It’s gonna take me a few more years to get to the level I would feel comfortable to start passing my portfolio around.